Service tax amnesty scheme yields Rs 1,500 cr
New Delhi: Service tax amnesty scheme has so far yielded Rs 1,500 crore in revenue for the government, with 6,283 assessees taking advantage of the VCES that was announced in the Budget 2013-14.
"The government as on November 11, has received 6,283 applications declaring tax to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore for availing of government's service tax amnesty scheme," an official said.
The government had launched the Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (VCES) to give an opportunity to service tax defaulters to pay dues and come clean.
Bulk of the declarations, according to the official, were made by assesses engaged in construction and works contracts, followed by transportation and supply of manpower.
An addition of Rs 1,500 crore in the kitty will provide some relief to the government which aims to collect Rs 1.80 lakh crore in service tax in the current fiscal.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram has been meeting industry bodies to encourage assessees to take advantage of the tax amnesty scheme to avoid punishment.
According to government estimates, out of 17 lakh registered service tax payers, only 7 lakh are paying the levy.
The service tax is levied at 12 percent (plus 3 percent surcharge) on all services expect those which are in the negative list.
"We have reached the tipping point where we have to pause, take stock, talk to you, offer a fair and generous transition method and persuade as many of you to come over to paying taxes before the tax is enforced in a strict manner," Chidambaram had said in recent interactions with industry chamber in the capital.
"VCES is just that. The one who has not paid service tax to draw a curtain on the past and move on to a new chapter in his business. That is what VCES is," he said.
He had held similar interaction with industry chambers in Chennai and is scheduled to meet industry representatives in Mumbai on Thursday.
VCES had been introduced with effect from May 10, 2013 as a one-time amnesty scheme for paying service tax dues for the period October 1, 2007 to December 31, 2012 without interest and penalty.
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